Are you a human ‘doing’ or a human ‘being’?

My dear friend and mentor, Paddy Spruce recently said to me “Em, it sounds like you’re a human doing, not a human being.” 

I write in my acknowledgements in my book, Reinventing Emma, the below reference to Paddy. 

 “Also thank you to Paddy Spruce, my speaking mentor and friend, who helped me find my voice, communicate my message and kept me grounded.” (Reinventing Emma, p.p.259)

Paddy continually reminds me to stay grounded in the present moment. In fact, in a conversation we had recently I was talking to him a lot about my eye graft procedure and how painful and exhausting it has been. I also mentioned that I recently contracted COVID which took a lot out of me and turned into long COVID. 

My correspondence with Paddy included him telling me that by being present and stopping the “doing” all the time, there’s more power in our thoughts and mind on the actual “being”. I realised from this discussion that I had become a human “doing” and was exhausted. I needed to simply be a human being again. 

With Paddy’s reflections, it had me thinking about my own behaviours of late. How I feel like I’ve been stuck on the hamster wheel without getting off – to stop planning and goal setting. I’ve been so focused on creating to-do lists and filling up my day with things that I have forgotten  to rest and recover. Although many of those things on the list are definitely enjoyable, I was ticking them off my long list out of obligation instead of wanting to do them.

If you’re meditating to tick it off a list, is it really meditating? 

After a lot of deliberation, I’ve decided to take leave from my work for a while to rest and recover. I am extremely grateful to my work who allow me to take this sabbatical with no explanation, just understanding that I need rest at this time. 

When we’re doing something we love, it’s so important that we are present with it. That is where we really find the joy in it. And that can be just rest. In today’s society we do get so wrapped up in what we’re up to each day and achieving. But perhaps some days, the main achievement can be just sitting, noticing and breathing in that moment. 

How do you remind yourself to be a “human being”?